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Music Charts

Top 50 Albums of 2013 (as of 30/12/2013)

It was quite difficult to keep up with music releases as I was travelling, so it's quite likely that some passed me by, but I've still managed a top 50 that I'm very happy with. Anyone familiar with my music taste might be surprised that Cerys Matthews' latest isn't in this list, but that's because I've not actually managed to hear it yet - shameful I know. I'll rectify it at some point, but for now here's my 50 favourite albums of 2013 (that I've actually heard!).

50. Veronica Falls - Waiting For Something To Happen
49. Dear Reader - Rivonia
48. Giant Drag - Waking Up Is Hard To Do
47. Sparrow & The Workshop - Murderopolis
46. Unknown Mortal Orchestra - II
45. Camera Obscura - Desire Lines
44. Los Campesinos! - No Blues
43. Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds - Push The Sky Away
42. The Joy Formidable - Wolf's Law
41. Georgia Ruth - Week Of Pines

40. Devendra Banhart - Mala
39. The Wave Pictures - City Forgiveness
38. Teitur - Story Music
37. Yo La Tengo - Fade
36. Portugal. The Man - Evil Friends
35. Neon Neon - Praxis Makes Perfect
34. Mark Morriss - A Flash Of Darkness
33. Arcade Fire - Reflektor
32. Tullycraft - Lost In Light Rotation
31. The Boy Least Likely To - The Great Perhaps

30. The Spinto Band - Cool Cocoon
29. Alessi's Ark - The Still Life
28. Laura Stevenson - Wheel
27. The Earth - Off On One
26. Phosphorescent - Muchacho
25. Saturday Looks Good To Me - One Kiss Ends It All
24. David Ford - Charge
23. Darren Hayman And The Short Parliament - Bugbears
22. Helen Love - Day-Glo Dreams
21. Frog Eyes - Carey's Cold Spring

20. Granville - Les Voiles

19. Of Montreal - Lousy With Sylvianbriar

18. Cate Le Bon - Mug Museum

17. Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires Of The City

16. Andrew Paul Regan - Dinas Powys

15. Beautiful Small Machines - The DJ Stayed Home

14. David Bowie - The Next Day

13. Moonface - Julia With Blue Jeans On

12. Neko Case - The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You

11. Ambrosia Parsley - Weeping Cherry

10. The Duckworth Lewis Method - Sticky Wickets

The Duckworth Lewis Method - Sticky Wickets

9. Euros Childs - Situation Comedy

Euros Childs - Situation Comedy

8. The Indelicates - Diseases Of England

The Indelicates - Diseases Of England

7. Trwbador - Trwbador

Trwbador - Trwbador

6. Milky Wimpshake - Heart And Soul In The Milky Way

Milky Wimpshake - Heart And Soul In The Milky Way

5. Eleanor Friedberger - Personal Record

Eleanor Friedberger - Personal Record

4. Polly Scattergood - Arrows

Polly Scattergood - Arrows

3. Sweet Baboo - Ships

Sweet Baboo - Ships

My top 3 albums come with a bit of spiel about why they're so great, plus a YouTube video so you can have a bit of a listen and assess my judgement for yourself.

I first heard Sweet Baboo when I saw him live at Green Man Festival in 2009. I really enjoyed his set and liked the album he bought out that year - his 2nd album, 'Hello Wave'. However, I feel like he's just gotten better and better since then. His 2011 album 'I'm A Dancer / Songs About Sleeping' is great, though sadly didn't make it into my chart of that year as I didn't get to hear it until after the year had finished. So I'm pleased that this album has not only made it in, but has charted so highly. I think it's definitely his strongest album so far, so I'm looking forward to hearing what he'll do next! Here's my current favourite track from the album - 'If I Died...':

2. The Magic Theatre - The Long Way Home

The Magic Theatre - The Long Way Home

The second album from The Magic Theatre. Their debut topped my chart in 2010, but this shouldn't be seen as a step down - they just had some very tough competition this year.

Like their debut album, as well as their previous work with Ooberman, this album evokes a sense of almost child-like wonder that never fails to strike a chord with me. The combination of lush orchestration, moving lyrics and Sophia's beautiful voice is almost spell-binding. Despite being released in November, it has quite a summery feel to it - especially on tracks like 'It Was Glorious':

1. Suede - Bloodsports

Suede - Bloodsports

Yes, Suede have topped my chart for 2013. I'm sure this won't be a huge surprise to anyone who knows me. Suede are one of my all-time favourite bands, so a new album from them was naturally a very exciting prospect. It was also a slightly nervewracking one though - after a break of more than 10 years, would a new album actually be any good? Thankfully the answer was a resounding 'yes'!

It's hard for me to express just how much this album has meant to me over this past year (well, since it was released in March, anyway). You know how some albums are just the perfect thing for you at a particular time in your life? Well this is one of those for me. It's therefore difficult to try and sing its praises in any kind of objective way, as my love for it is incredibly subjective. Mind you, all enjoyment of music is subjective anyway - despite what some of the more arrogant music critics might try and make you think.

This album's about relationships - the high points, the low points and the breaking down of them. There's obsession, wonder, suspicion, jealousy, resentment, desire, resignation, pain and joy... pretty much any emotion you can associate with being in love and in a relationship. My particular favourites are the last 4 tracks on the album - maybe because they're the most epic and emotional. I also really love the guitar on 'Sometimes I Feel I'll Float Away' - definitely one of my favourite Suede songs ever. However, the YouTube video I'm sharing is for one of the more upbeat songs - just because it was a single and therefore has a proper video. It's a great song too, of course. Here's 'It Starts And Ends With You':

 
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